PCS Binder

CONTRIBUTED BY TIFFANY WHEELER FOR KOREA YE!

PCS Binder l Okinawa Hai!

Anytime you move, it helps to be organized. When you move once a year, it is essential.

Living the Army life, I knew it would come with its fair share of moving. For us, though, it has meant four moves in under four years and I think by now I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

The most important part of my moving process is a PCS Binder, so today I thought it would be fun to give you a peek into ours.

In this binder, I keep all our personal documents, moving information, orders, reservations, medical records, insurance documents, and anything else that would cause a lot of problems if it gets lost in the move. Here is my layout:

PCS Binder l Okinawa Hai!

Zipper Pouch: I throw all of our receipts in here from food, gas, car rentals etc. to be claimed for reimbursement later. (TIP: it’s always better to over collect receipts than miss out on reimbursement money.) Also, throw in a pen and a permanent marker. You’ll need it.

PCS Binder l Okinawa Hai!

Contacts List: This has all the major contact numbers of both our losing and gaining duty station.

Dividers with Folders: I use a set with five dividers. I like having the folders so I can easily throw things in the binder if I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to put something in its designated spot right away.

Page Protectors: These are great because you never have to hole punch anything, and of course they keep your documents protected.

PCS Binder l Okinawa Hai!

Card Protector: I used one of these card protectors for our social security cards, insurance cards, extra passport photos, and whatever other small things I want to keep track of.

My binder is divided into five sections:

Personal Records:

  • birth certificates
  • marriage license
  • social security cards
  • passport copies
  • most recent LES
  • insurance policies
  • car titles

Housing:

  • new housing application
  • old housing clearance
  • bill termination notices and contact information
  • inventory of household goods

In Transit:

  • documents/forms from movers
  • clearing paperwork
  • leave forms
  • hotel reservations
  • flight reservations

Medical:

  • shot records
  • medical records
  • DEERS/TRICARE enrollment forms
  • EFMP screenings
  • CYSS paperwork

Orders & POAs:

  • 10 copies of orders (every office you visit wants one)
  • current POAs (powers of attorney)

I like having a general POA and specific ones for DEERS/TRICARE and housing so I can handle all our enrollment stuff at the new duty station while my husband is trying to inprocess.

In preparation for a tour to Okinawa (or really any overseas assignment) it would also be helpful to have a “Command Sponsorship” section, as well as a “Pets” section for all of that extra paperwork bringing a pet requires.

I know this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a PCS but, in my opinion, it is the most important. I hope this glance into our binder was helpful to anyone out there getting ready to embark on a PCS journey!


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4 Comments
  • January 28, 2015

    What’s CYSS EFMP AND LES??

    Rachel
    Reply
    • January 28, 2015

      Sometimes in the military we go acronym crazy. CYSS is Child Youth School Services, mainly an Army term. EFMP is the Exceptional Family Member Program which is mandatory for any family members with conditions that require specialized treatment such as diabetes or Autism. There are four EFMP categories with Cat 1 being less severe and Cat 4 being individuals who require the most specialized care. Your LES is just your Leave and Earnings Statement, basically a monthly pay stub found online at the DFAS mypay website. I actually made my wife a binder like this when I deployed. Had my power of attorney , recall roster, important numbers, etc.

      Anthony
      Reply
  • October 24, 2014

    Thank you so much for posting this! What a great idea! I am about to go make my binder now. This REALLY gave me a great sense of how to organize it and prepare for this move! Thanks again!

    Amy DuClos
    Reply
  • April 30, 2014

    Thanks for sharing! It is incredibly helpful to have it laid out this way.mi hope your PCS goes smoothly!

    Grace
    Reply